I remember when I was a little girl having a Huffy Spyder bicycle. It was metallic green that faded to yellow – that very sparkly sort of paint that they used in the 70’s. It had a white banana seat and a basket, one speed, and you had to back pedal to brake. In hindsight I guess it wasn’t a very girly bike, but I liked it, and I thought of the color as being “lemon-lime,” like the soda. Sometimes my friends and I would put playing cards in the spokes of the wheels of our bikes and it would make a cool sound when we rode.
I had this bike until I was in 5th grade, and then it got stolen. I can’t remember exactly the circumstances now, whether I left it out, or if it was stolen from our garage, but I was mystified by this. And sad. I may have cried, I’m not sure. I remember there were these two boys at my school, they were twins, and they were new that year. They were always in trouble, and there was even a rumor that one of them got caught with a pill bottle full of marijuana. I didn’t even know what that was back then, just that it was bad and that it was some kind of drug. One of them came up to me at school a couple of days after my bike was stolen and said, “I heard your bike got stolen…tough luck, huh?” I was speechless because I hadn’t ever talked to them in my whole life, and they certainly never talked to me. I thought then that he had something to do with it, but I couldn’t prove it, of course. They only stayed at our school for one year.
I think I was a really naïve eleven-year-old. I didn’t even think to tell anyone about this, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered. I don’t think naïvité is necessarily a bad thing, but it can put you in dangerous spots. When I was 16, I once walked in on a robber in our house. (Lest you think I lived in a dangerous neighborhood, I must assure you that my hometown was really quite safe and relatively small, but there were quite a few “kids” that would steal things to sell.) I walked in and noticed that the microwave was missing. (In those days microwaves were a new-ish device and still worth stealing) My first thought? It must have broken and my mom sent it out to be fixed. How stupid was that? I shouted, “Mother, what’s gone wrong with the microwave?” It didn’t occur to me that her car wasn’t there and that she was surely at my dad’s office! I marched back to her bedroom, and I saw that her jewelry box was on the bed and her jewelry scattered across it. I saw the window open and the screen gone. It finally dawned on me what had happened. Do you think that I went to the neighbor’s house and called the police? (There were no cell phones in 1986!) Noo…I got back in my car and drove all the way to my dad’s office to tell him what happened. How dumb, right?
Both of these incidents left me feeling insecure and sort of violated. I got over it, of course, but each time I thought of a stranger going through our things, I got a little scared. Now we have this “video doorbell” thingy. It shows you who is ringing your doorbell, or if there is motion at the door, and you can use it like an intercom to talk to whoever it is from anywhere, using your cell-phone. I don’t know if it is better to know or not! We haven’t had any weirdnesses with it, but part of its “service” is that “neighbors” can post videos of stranger people and broadcast it to the neighborhood. Since we got it, people near us have posted probably a dozen videos of scumbags out late at night trying car doors, looking to steal from them, or maybe even steal the whole car. If I’d had one of these I wonder if I would have had a chance at getting my lemon-lime Huffy back? You know, I don’t remember having a bike after that one! Wonder if that has anything to do with me being a terrible bicycle rider now?
So, way to go, SoC ! I could tell you one other story about our house getting broken into, but I’ll save that one for another SoCS. I promise, my neighborhood was really not dangerous! Just a small-ish town with kids desperate for money, I guess.
Et vous, chers lecteurs ? Have you ever been robbed? How did you react? How did you feel afterwards?
Click on the picture to find out more about Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday!